Our visitors to Tippet Rise may not realize that it has a twin foundation, whose website, brinkerhoffpoetry.org, brings young poets to the fore while also celebrating the work of the poets we’ve grown up with.
We founded the Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation in the hope that we can be a small part of this moment, where so many brilliant people on both sides of the Atlantic are finding their voices, and where young people are embracing poetry as a way of defining the indefinable about their lives.
We love old books, the smell of the binding, the feel of the hemp, the texture of rough parchment, the visceral sense of history. We grew up with these magic puzzle boxes, which open when you press the right word. We also love the speed, the democracy, the universality of the virtual world, which sends ideas everywhere, instantly.
We love to film the spoken word, to layer quick perceptions over slow words. Mostly we love the speed of thought, which outruns our fingers, our tongues, our memories, and through which we share with others our unspeakable losses, our deepest selves, and our inexpressible hopes.
Cathy & Peter Halstead
In October of 2020, Tippet Rise co-founders, Cathy and Peter Halstead, were interviewed by Olivia O'Leary of Ireland’s Poetry Programme on RTÉ Radio 1.
They discussed their work with the Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation in collaboration with Poetry Ireland to commission a series of filmed readings by some of our newest poetic voices.
As a part of the broadcast, Peter recited Feux Follets, a poem he wrote in July of 2020.
July 4, 2020
the restless underbelly of the trees
whose incandescent evening news
seems lit tonight with LEDs,
as sunset’s television strews
with cinematic tricks
our jungle’s blowing pyre,
fireflies like random wicks
carried on the trade wind’s fire,
torches leaves with distant matches
from an incendiary moon,
until the entire island catches
and burns on the lagoon,
a rustling world of solar wind,
pinwheeled and Luciferin’d
into made-up stand-in odes
as our real-life world implodes.
The opening photo for this story is of the Cliffs of Mohor, located in County Clare, Ireland. The photo was taken by Matthew Thompson.